As the NFL Draft quickly approaches, many former college players will await to hear their names called. Some might hear their names called right away while others will endure the long seven rounds and still not know what is in their future.
Do not expect former Badger linebacker and NFL hopeful Jeff Mack to be one of these players that will wait around.
"I'm probably not even going to watch (the draft)," Mack said in a recent phone interview. "I'll be at my parents' house probably. I have interest but it is not priority number one because I don't know where I'll go or if I'll even get drafted. It might be a waste of time and nerve wracking. If it happens, it happens and that's great but there are also other things in life."
Mack has already started to explore those other options. The Madison native graduated in December and is now working at M&I Bank in mortgage financing. He is happy with where he is at right now and said that if he is not picked or signed as a free agent he would continue to build a career in his current job.
There is a chance that Mack will be able to forego his current occupation and continue his football career. Many mock drafts do not have him selected during the seven rounds but instead signing as a free agent. He said that teams like the Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers have all called and shown interest. If he delves into the NFL next season, expect him to start out on special teams and then work his way up.
During Wisconsin's pro day March 3, Mack ran a 4.7 40-yard dash, recorded a 31 ½ inch vertical jump and a 9-1 broad jump. Since then, he has continued to work out to prepare himself if chosen.
"I've been working out on my own," Mack said. "I've been lifting, and doing football-oriented workouts. I have not been able to work out with the other guys from the team because everyone's schedules are different. It's hard to coordinate."
One thing that may be a point of concern for teams looking at Mack is his history with injuries. During his career, he has endured shoulder and back injuries but he does not think this will dissuade team's thoughts about him.
"I haven't really been asked about my injuries," Mack said. "I think I'm OK and it is really not a big concern."
Despite being one of Wisconsin's biggest assets on the field during his collegiate career and co-leading the Badgers last season with 98 tackles, Mack is not too worried about the outcome of draft weekend.
"I'm really not that nervous," Mack said. "If it happens, it happens. It is out of my hands and I have to make the best of it. I want to wish the best of luck to all the other guys I played with and if I get drafted that is great but it is in God's hands."